On Tuesday, Facebook announced that U.S.-based users will soon be able to employ its instant messaging service, Facebook Messenger, to send money directly to friends, a feature that puts it in direct competition with the likes of payment companies PayPal and Square. Its also a statement from Facebook vice president David Marcus, who departed PayPal in the summer to lead the messaging business under CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
By entering the fledgling peer-to-peer payments market, Facebook and Marcus are hoping drive further engagement to a messaging service that already has more than 500 million monthly active users. The feature, which will be rolled out over the next few months and is free, will allow users to connect their Facebook account to their debit cards in order to send money from their bank accounts to fellow recipients. Facebook said in a statement that it may take one to three business days to make the money available depending on your bank.
Its an easy, secure, truly frictionless, and almost magical experience that happens in-line with existing conversations where all of your friends and family already are, wrote Marcus on Facebook shortly after the announcement. Please bear with us as we make this feature gradually more available nationwide.
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